Breakfast. I love breakfast foods and, like most people, love it at any time of day. A picture of my perfect breakfast is shown above. There it is in all its yummy glory. An egg from a pastured hen fried perfectly in ghee, sliced avocado, black beans with a dollop of yogurt and a slice of warm plantain cake. Yum.
I love anything with plantains (plantain chips!) and I have been on a quest to find a great plantain cake recipe that is not made with flour. This is a Venezuelan recipe from the Latin American cookbook in the Time Life Cookbook series. Traditionally it accompanies meat dishes, but I love it as a side with my favorite breakfast. I substitute rapurda for sugar in this recipe as it is a dried, unrefined and naturally evaporated sugar cane juice. The processing method to obtain it retains the original natural vitamins and minerals in the sugar.
7 tablespoons organic butter or ghee
2 plantains, very ripe, peeled and cut in half crosswise and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups queso blanco, grated
3 tablespoons rapadura
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 organic eggs, separated
1 tablespoon flour or dried breadcrumbs (I use almond flour but you can use whatever you prefer)
In a heavy 8 to 10 inch skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter/ghee over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, drop in the sliced plantains and cook, turning frequently, until the slices are golden brown on both sides. Transfer the plantains to a double thickness of paper towels to drain.
In a small bowl, mix the grated cheese, rapadura and cinnamon and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk or a rotary or electric beater until they are stiff enough to form unwavering peaks on the beater.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until they are thick and lemon colored, then with a spatula fold the whites into the yolks.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease the bottom and sides of a deep 1 quart baking dish or mold, then sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour or bread crumbs, tipping the dish to spread the flour or crumbs as evenly as possible.
Turn the dish over and rap it sharply to remove any excess. Ladle about a quarter of the egg mixture into the dish, and spread it with the back of a spoon. Cover with a layer of plantains--using about one third of the slices. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the cheese mixture and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Repeat the layers two more times, ending with the egg mixture. Dot with the last tablespoon of butter and place in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Serve hot directly from the baking dish, or let the cake cool for 5 minutes or so.
Enjoy! I am off for a very much needed vacation and will be back in a few weeks!